Cavelero M.H. takes shapeBY KEVIN HULTEN Last Friday I joined several Lake Stevens School District employees and administrators on a walking tour of the district’s new gem, Cavelero Mid High. The sprawling campus is located off Hewitt Avenue and 83rd, a few blocks west of SR-9. The school has really come a long way since the last time I saw it in November, and the on-site manager - this guy named Tex who has the coolest cowboy hard-hat ever - led our group on an hour long walking tour of the facility.
The first thing that struck me was the size of the place - and not just the building - but the acreage involved. If I had to guess, I’d say Cavelero’s lot size doubles that of LSHS. The building is two stories high and is filled with arching skylights, suspended catwalks and walkways, architectural and artistic emphasis is present and visible throughout. But this is a giant of a school, and it is designed and constructed unlike any high school in the area.
We began the tour in the gymnasium. Capable of seating 2,000, the main gym featured freshly-installed hardwood floors and a bevy of pro-style competition basketball goals. Twin Cavalero Colts scoreboards hang on opposite ends, with the double-C logo intertwined in the middle like a pair of crimson horseshoes. Above the main gym, but not separated by a wall, is the practice court on the second level. If the bleachers were a big set of stairs, you could walk from the lower gym to the upper gym. The practice court was larger and better equipped than some high school facilities - and this is not a conincidence - Cavalero will begin as a mid high, housing eighth and ninth graders, but will transition to Lake Stevens’ second high school in five years’ time.
The school would make a banner high school immediately, which is all the better for the incoming eighth graders and freshman, along with the PROVE students, who will call Cavelero home during PROVE’s remodeling next year.
Paid for with the successful 2005 bond campaign chaired by City Councilmember Suzanne Quigley, Cavelero serves as a shining example of what our community and school district can accomplish, and what they represent. While neighboring districts’ construction projects wallow in delays and cost overruns, Cavelero is on schedule and on-budget. While other districts seek state hand outs to shore up construction debt, the Lake Stevens School District continues to repay citizens’ trust demonstrated through continued support at the polls.
When the 1,200 students pour through the doors after Labor Day, they will have the pleasure of gracing the county’s best new school since Kamiak opened over a decade ago.
Some amenities that stuck in my mind after Tex’s tour ended: an olympic-quality weight facility with full-length windows looking out into the main entryway halls. A wide and open commons area lined by second story balconies and a catwalk that traverses the center. Adjacent to a commercial kitchen fit for a major resort, students will choose to sit inside or out, and two-story windows provide a postcard view of Mt. Ranier to the south while numerous skylights lend a fresh, and natural feel. A vocational tech area that will provide the flexibility to adjust programs to fit changing educational needs. Competition athletic fields ready for 4A athletics including softball and baseball diamonds, track and cross-country facilities, a soccer pitch and a FieldTurf football field.
Due to the stage of construction, the school is a little rough around the edges. Carpet isn’t in yet, many of the splendid views and skylights are obstructed by plastic coverings, grass and vegetation has yet to grow. Despite these minor cosmetic flaws, the magnitude and splendor of the project is shining through more each day.
It was easy to share in the excitement felt by the school’s teachers as they saw their new classrooms and facilities for the first time. As they imagined students filing into class and how they would arrange their rooms, I thought about the planning and foresight needed to go from zero to world-class future high school in three years.
Cheers to Lake Stevens School District, the volunteers who worked tirelessly on the bond campaign, the voters who supported it, and the students and teachers who will benefit from it for years to come.
The Cavelero Colts are galloping towards the finish line and once the community sees this beauty, I have a feeling we’ll all be cheering this thoroughbred of a school.
Kevin Hulten is the former Managing Editor of the Lake Stevens Journal. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.